Make your vote a healthy one on Saturday

A few days out from a federal election, it is time to run a health check on our candidates.

They, no doubt, are experiencing hypertension as the countdown to May 18 continues, but now is no time to take the pressure off.

The Eurobodalla Shire needs a level-four regional hospital and that requires the backing of both state and federal governments.

We need radiotherapy treatment for everyone who needs it in our shire, so we do not have travel hours for our own care or to care for our loved ones.

We need paediatric services.

We need residential mental health services.

We need residential and outpatient drug and alcohol services without ludicrous waiting lists.

These services must be available when those struggling with addiction reach out to them - before the window of change slams shut and another downward spiral begins.

Too many families have reported the heartbreak of watching loved ones seek a chance to change only to meet a closed door and a queue.

We need more than a fly-in, fly-out model of psychiatric care. Timing our breakdowns around the monthly day visit of a single pyschiatrist has not been working.

We need a well-resourced aged care sector. Our shire has more than double the national average of those aged over 65 years, with all the attendant health and welfare issues that profile brings.

We need dementia and Alzheimer's resources to match our demographic.

In the lead-up to this election, we have spoken to GPs about the needs of our shire.

Invariably they point to an overburdened public health system and an aged care sector that does not work for either patients, families, staff or visiting doctors.

We know a well-resourced public health system saves money in the long run.

Money spent on prevention and early intervention is a wise use of our health budget.

We know early dental intervention has wider systemic health implications.

We are not telling you who to vote for, but we are urging you to contact all candidates and insist they make a healthy choice on your behalf.

The seats of Gilmore and Eden-Monaro matter in the big political picture.

You have time to exert some influence.

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